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Blog : Posts tagged with 'asterisks'

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Footnote

In which we debate a design detail


Regular readers might have noticed that yesterday’s post was a bit of an experiment. In case you didn’t spot what the experiment involved, here’s a clue:

Screenshot

Ever since it started, this blog has gone in for copious footnotes, on just about every post,* flagged up with stars in the usual way. One thing I’ve never been entirely happy with, though, is that the more footnotes you have, the more stars each note requires. A fifth or sixth footnote starts to get unwieldy, as Monday’s post shows. So I’ve been idly thinking about other ways to indicate a footnote: symbols, numbers, or something else.

You can tell I’ve been idly thinking about it, because it’s taken me over three years to try an experiment with using numbers instead. I’m not really sure, though, whether I like it or not. K, I know, definitely doesn’t like the new numbered style; she was almost tempted to leave a comment saying “Bring back the stars!” so she must care. Or I could try out a series of different symbols, instead of a line of stars. More experimentation might be called for.

* When I first started drafting this post, it didn’t have any. “Oh, the irony”, I thought to myself, “of having no footnotes on a post about footnotes.” Fortunately, one soon came to me.

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Star quality

In which we ask what the point of obscurity is


What makes a word a rude word?

I’m asking because of something I noticed yesterday. Scanning through the telly listings, I noticed that our local paper* won’t print the name of BBC3 show Tittybangbang. Instead, it was rendered “T***ybangbang”.

Now, I know this isn’t as hypocritical as The Sun, which similarly refuses to print the word “tits” despite featuring photos of topless models in almost every issue. It still strikes me as rather silly and pointless, though. It’s hardly likely to offend anyone, particularly as the paper’s digital telly listings are in tiny, almost unreadable print. It’s lip service to an old-fashioned “morality” in which respectable appearances are more important than anything underneath. Even for ruder rude words, it’s not as if asterisks really do hide anything – you all know what this f***ing sentence says.**

* the fearless Grimsby Telegraph

** it was “this flowing sentence”, of course. No, really. Honest. Would I lie to you?

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